Archive for November 25th, 2008

Heraclitus an ancient philosopher said: ‘On those stepping into rivers staying the same other and other waters flow’. If waters keep flowing even as you cross the river on one direction you are not on return touching the same waters twice. Much water has flowed by since you crossed it. You may have held frame of reference of the landscape and yet it , despite its keeping essential features in tact, still tricks you. That frame of reference you carefully fixed in your memory is connected to the whole. As you crossed one way some woman gave birth to a baby elsewhere and another died and so on. A star somewhere in cosmos collapsed and another on is on the making and so on. This state of changes is called life in flux. A man who makes history on the world stage is lost in a flux that is the law of Nature. Similar difficulty exists in interpreting history.
More on that in my next post.


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Laughton was once asked in an interview if he would ever consider marrying again. The question was hypothetical in as much as he was happily married to Elsa Lanchester, but he answered that he would never contemplate such a step. Pressed for a reason he said that during his courtship a man puts his best foot forward, and takes special care not to reveal his poorer qualities, while after marriage his real self emerges day by day, and his wife has to make the most of it. The he added thoughtfully, “I don’t believe I would ever put a woman through that again.

W. C Handy, father of the Blues enjoyed telling this story: “For one recital I dug up an old piece called,” My Ragtime Baby.”  I knew it wasn’t dignified enough so I put it down in the programme as ‘Greetings to Toussaint L’Ouverture’ and I played it. Under the title even the president and the dean thought it was great music and I never told them the difference.”

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Disraeli’s attitude towards  women was of a semi-platonic semi-amorous, half courtly and half familiar nature. At the end of his life he told Mathew Arnold:You have heard of me ,accused of being a flatterer. It is true.I am a flatterer.I have found it useful. Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty, you should lay it on with a trowel.”
In flattery also he equally showed his felicity. The queen was fond of him and let him treat her as equal. Once she presented him with her book ‘Leaves From The Journal Of Our Life In The Highlands.’ As Prime Minister one day talking of literature with her he referred thus, ’we, authors ma’m’
The septuagenarian statesman fell in love with Lady Bedford with the same rashness that we associate among the youth, Lady Bedford was fifteen years his junior. Her name was Seline (Gk- moon) and he told her on one occasion, ”It is not the slice of the moon I want-I want all.”
He wrote her over a thousand letters at all sorts of times and places, sometimes twice or thrice a day that he admitted that his life was passed in trying to govern the country and thinking her.
In the 30s Disraeli wrote, ”All my friends who married for love and beauty either beat their wives or live apart from them… I may commit many follies in life but I never intend to marry for love” In 1839 he married a widow Mrs Wyndham Lewis, a heiress and 12 years senior to him. By all counts the marriage proved to be a happy one. Later his wife remarked that ‘Dizzy married me for money, but if he had the chance again he would marry me for love.”

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